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Tweed Shire News

Tweed’s green bin compost benefitting local farms

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Tweed’s green bin compost benefitting local farms

Community scraps helping to improve soil health across the Tweed

Food and organic scraps placed by residents in their green bins are being processed into rich compost for use by local farmers, completing the food cycle.

Approximately 14,000 tonnes of food and garden waste from the Tweed community is being processed into rich compost each year right here in the Tweed, helping to improve soil health across the Shire.

Food and garden organics are being sent to the Tweed Organics Processing Facility, which opened last year at Stotts Creek Resource Recovery Centre.

From July this year, the facility started accepting an additional 7,000 tonnes of organics per year from Ballina Shire residents, pushing the total processing output of the centre to 21,000 tonnes of compost a year.

The NSW EPA’s ‘Let’s Get Our Scrap Together’ campaign is currently running across 7 local government areas in the Northern Rivers, under the banner of North East Waste. The program aims to get more green organic waste out of the red bin and into the green bin.

Council’s Resource Recovery Project and Operations officer Wes Knight said around 270 tonnes of organic waste from the Tweed Community’s 27,000 green organics bins were being delivered to the composting facility each week, where it is converted into a valuable resource rather than rotting away in landfill.

“The Tweed community have proven to be great composters and the more people use the green bins, the more compost we can produce, benefitting our local farmers while helping to reduce our impact on the environment,” Mr Knight said.

“Compost is being used by local landscaping businesses, farms, agriculture businesses and on Council projects, which is great to see.”

Tweed Heads South-based company Coastal Feeds uses the compost as a source of carbon, mixing it with liquid ‘waste’ from local breweries such as Stone & Wood, as well as stable waste from local farms. Once combined, the material is further composted to produce an even richer soil additive.

Coastal Feeds Operations Manager Hamish Brace said about 99.9% of the compost they produced remains in the Tweed.

“The compost is used by local organic and conventional farmers growing mainly vegetables, including Cudgen’s sweet potato producers, local tree crop farms and mixed small holdings,” Mr Brace said.

“These farms grow and supply food to farmers’ markets and food stores across the Northern Rivers, which ultimately ends up back on our plates – completing the cycle.

“We’ve had some great outcomes in applying this compost to local farming land. Farmers can see the benefits first-hand with a reduced need for pesticide use, improved soil health and increased drought and disease resilience.

“Food sent to the red landfill bin is a wasted opportunity to keep it in the food cycle. This nutrient-rich resource is then lost as is the potential to use it to supplement soils in local agriculture, horticulture and household gardens.”

Steps to ensure the best quality compost starts with your green bin:

  • Make every scrap count:  Ensure all food scraps go into your green organics bin, including meat, fish and dairy. To control odour, freeze meat, prawns and chicken until bin night.
  • Sort the good scrap from the bad scrap: Empty forgotten leftovers or soggy packets of lettuce into your green organics bin and ensure plastic or steel containers go into your yellow recycling bin, while plastic bags can go to REDcycle or into your red bin.
  • Which caddy liner is okay? Only Council-approved, Australian-certified compostable bin liners are accepted (look for the seedling logo). Biodegradable bags and others claiming to be part-compostable only break down into micro plastics, which are not wanted in our compost or the environment.
  • Throwing away too many leftovers or forgotten foods? Join Love Food Hate Waste at lovefoodhatewaste.nsw.gov.au.

To make sure you’re using your green organics bin to its fullest, visit newaste.org.au/scrap/ or tweed.nsw.gov.au/green-lid-bins.

The Let’s Get Our Scrap Together campaign has been developed and funded by the NSW Environment Protection Authority.

The Tweed Organics Processing Facility at Stotts Creek processes more than 21,000 tonnes of food and garden waste into compost each year.

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Do You Support an Extension to the Lease of the Kingscliff Temporary Housing Village?

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Kingscliff Temporary Housing Village
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Do You Support an Extension to the Lease of the Kingscliff Temporary Housing Village?

 

Council is seeking community feedback on a proposal to extend the lease on parkland at Kingscliff to accommodate the temporary housing pod for an additional six months. The NSW Reconstruction Authority (RA) has requested a six-month extension to the temporary village lease at Elrond Drive, Kingscliff, extending it to December 2025.

The extension would provide additional time for the RA and Northern Rivers Housing (NRH) to support residents into long-term housing and to allow for the decommissioning of the pods during this extension period.

Mayor of Tweed Shire Chris Cherry emphasised the importance of this extension, stating, “There are currently more than 450 households living in 11 temporary housing sites across the region, and a significant waitlist of people still seeking housing support.”

“Kingscliff’s temporary housing village has 31 self-contained housing units which provide a safe and secure home to more than 60 people affected by the 2022 floods. Some residents are waiting for their homes to be rebuilt, while others need to find an affordable rental property,” Cr Cherry added.

While the Council supports this request for a six-month extension, it seeks input from local residents to understand their views on the request before making a final decision.

Council owns the land at 99 Elrond Drive, where the Kingscliff temporary housing village is located. In June 2022, Council entered into a three-year lease of the property with Resilience NSW, now known as the NSW Reconstruction Authority (RA). The lease was established for the construction, maintenance, and operation of temporary housing and is set to expire on 16 June 2025.

The temporary housing villages were originally intended to provide up to two years of accommodation for displaced households as a result of the 2022 floods, with the remaining lease period allocated for site restoration. However, due to widespread housing stress and contractor shortages in the region, residents of the temporary housing village face significant obstacles to returning home or securing alternative stable housing.

In November 2023, Council received a request from the NSW RA to extend the lease for an additional two years until June 2027. Following this request, a meeting was hosted by the NSW RA and Council with neighbouring residents in February 2024. During this meeting, the NSW RA indicated the request to extend the lease for two more years (until 2027) had been withdrawn.

In May 2024, Council received a new request from the NSW RA to extend the lease for an additional six months until 31 December 2025. At Council’s meeting on 16 May, it was resolved to agree to this extension, subject to public notification and consultation with residents of the pod village and the wider community.

Additionally, it was resolved to consult with the community to determine the future use of the space. This consultation will take place separately before the end of the lease in December next year.

Residents are encouraged to provide feedback on the extension of the lease before 5 pm on Wednesday, 3 July 2024. Council will consider all submissions before deciding whether to proceed with the extension.

Have your say online at yoursaytweed.com.au/99ElrondDrive, email tsc@tweed.nsw.gov.au, or write to the General Manager, Tweed Shire Council, PO Box 816, Murwillumbah, NSW 2484.

 

For more local Kingscliff news, click here.

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Byron Bay News

14 projects share in $300,000 Community Building Partnership pool

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14 projects share in $300,000 Community Building Partnership pool

 

STATE Member for Lismore Janelle Saffin today (Friday, 7 June) announced that 14 projects had been successful under the NSW Government’s Community Building Partnership program for 2023.

Ms Saffin congratulated this round’s recipients and encouraged local organisations developing worthwhile projects to applicants to sign up for alerts about the CBP program so they are notified when information about the next round is confirmed.

“Remember that there is only $300,000 to be spread across the entire electorate each year so please be realistic with the amount of funding sought,” Ms Saffin says.

“The Premier’s Department has introduced strict probity measures around this grant program, including the overlay of independent assessment.”

Recipients of CBP funding for this 2023 round include:   

Lismore City LGA:

The Lismore Soup Kitchen Incorporated – towards improving amenities for volunteers and the hundreds of customers of The Good Pantry Lismore – new cool storage will be purchased and installed. — $33,350.

Lismore Memorial Amateur Swimming Club Incorporated – towards capacity building of competitive swimming in Lismore – $19,353.

Northern NSW Helicopter Rescue Service Limited – acquisition of night vision goggles (NVG) for its Lismore base – $18,970.

RSL LifeCare Limited – towards commissioning a local artist to install a mural as a war memorial/commemorative space at Chauvel Village Goonellabah, honouring Sir Harry Chauvel, of the Australian Lighthorse. — $5,000.

Tenterfield Shire LGA:

Tenterfield Chamber of Tourism Industry & Business Incorporated – new Tenterfield Visitors Information Centre – shopfront fitout, purchasing and installing free-standing equipment in a newly-leased building – $30,000.

Mingoola Hall Management Committee Incorporated – towards enhancing facilities at Mingoola Hall (fire exit side access to toilets to building code, installing a water tank) — $29,439.

Kyogle LGA:

Kyogle PA&H Society (Kyogle Show) – towards repairing the showground’s three arena surfaces to make them safe for competitors and exhibitors as the ground has become uneven and sloping. – $30,000.

Bonalbo and District Community Hall Association Incorporated – towards removal of ceiling tiles which pose a risk to volunteers and hall users, replacing them with new ones – $16,000.

Country Women’s Association of NSW – Tabulam Branch – towards supplying and installing a 4.5 kw grid connect solar system including panels, inverter, mounting rail and balance of system — $7,700.

The Girl Guides Association of NSW – Kyogle Girl Guide Hall kitchen upgrade (purchase stainless steel materials to replace a kitchen which was destroyed by flood – $5,500.

Tweed Shire LGA:

Uki Sporting Horse Association – towards all weather multi-purpose sand arena (to resurface arena with long-lasting road base and sand, providing a flood-free, safe, all-weather, multi-purpose facility – $30,000.

Coolangatta-Wollumbin (Mount Warning) Dragon Boat Club Incorporated – Wollumbin Transport Vehicle (purchase a vehicle for towing dragon boats to training and regattas. Current 4WD vehicle is old and near the end of its life – $29,000.

Tweed Regional Museum – towards accessible drinking water for Tweed Regional Museum (provision of two accessible drinking fountains, indoor and outdoor, for visitors to the museum – $11,175.

Byron Shire LGA hinterland:

Federal Community Children’s Centre Incorporated – outdoor blind installation and soft fall repair and extension – $34,513.

Electorate-wide total — $300,000.

 

For more local news, click here.

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Rare Encounter: Humpback Whales surprise fishermen in Tweed River

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Fishermen captured footage of two humpback whales that swam into the Tweed River
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Rare Encounter: Humpback Whales surprise fishermen in Tweed River

 

By Sarah Waters

What started as a typical morning of fishing on the bar in the Tweed River, ended in an unexpected surprise for Bryce Piper, 24, and Peter Berger, 37, last Tuesday morning.

The two keen fishermen, from Berger Houseboat Holidays, were coming back into the Tweed Marina at about 7am when two humpback whales came up behind their boat.

“They popped up probably about 10 meters behind us – we drifted in with them – at the entrance of the bar,” Bryce said.

“It was pretty crazy to be honest, it’s not something you can really appreciate unless you understand that whales don’t usually come into the river,” he said.

The whales, believed to be quite young in age, passed Jack Evans Boat Harbour, and went towards the first bend in the Tweed River.

They hung around for about 20 minutes, before making their way back out to sea.

The entrance of the Tweed River which humpback whales came into last Tuesday morning

The entrance of the Tweed River which humpback whales came into last Tuesday morning

Bryce said he has come across humpback whales plenty of times before while he was out fishing or diving in the ocean but had never seen them in the river.

“It was a beautiful morning, the water was crystal clear, sun was out – you honestly couldn’t get much better.

“Being there and seeing that was definitely the best experience.

“They were just flapping around, it’s not like they were stressed – I think it’s because the water quality at the moment is next level, so it doesn’t really surprise me that they came up the river, but I couldn’t tell you why.

“It was close to high tide as well.”

Bryce said the sight of the whales made for a ‘perfect’ morning out on the water.

Peter Berger, 37, maintenance officer at Berger Houseboat Holidays, saw two humpback whales in the Tweed River last week

Peter Berger, 37, maintenance officer at Berger Houseboat Holidays, saw two humpback whales in the Tweed River last week

The two fishermen also caught bonito fish in the river that morning, which is something that doesn’t usually happen.

Commercial fisherman Joel Merchant was spotting for mullet when he also managed to film the humpbacks.

Joel, who was born and bred in the Tweed, said it was the fourth time in about 25 years he has seen humpback whales go into the river.

“They were just adventuring around,” Joel said.

“They were cruising along close, going in for a bit of a look and then cruising back out again, they were more curious.

“It was a lovely morning, and it was so calm – they just sort of cruised in like it was the ocean – they didn’t have to go through the surf breaks or anything,” he said.

Humpback whales pass Australia’s east coast between May and July after a summer of feeding on krill in Antarctic waters.

The whales migrate north to sub-tropical waters, near the Great Barrier Reef, where they give birth.

From September – November they migrate back to the Antarctic.

Australia’s eastern coastline comes alive with the spectacular acrobatic displays of humpback whales during their annual migration of up to 10,000 kilometres.

 

For more Tweed Shire news, click here.

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